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RoofersCoffeeShop® Roofing Influencer Charles Antis Discusses Diversity in the Workplace

August 30, 2018

Diversity and inclusion is a recipe for finding out where the hearts and minds of your people are because when you create a diverse environment, people communicate and learn things that were otherwise counterintuitive to you.

Charles writes: "This month's question on Roofer's Coffee Shop is how do you create a culture of diversity and inclusion in your company?

This is an amazing topic that I have come full circle on because there was a day, I remember, in my young roofing company 29 years ago when I wanted everything to look like me and sound like me and diversity and inclusion did not feel intuitively like it could help this company. In fact, even 15 years ago, diversity and inclusion was not working in my company so I fought it. But I was wrong. I was in a faulty mindset.

So I want to first tell you something that I have some expert opinion on because we employ a lot of diversity at Antis Roofing. I want to tell you that you will embrace diversity and inclusion in your company or you won't be in business in 10 years and maybe a lot sooner."

 

Charles Antis is the founder and CEO of Antis Roofing. See his full bio here 

Full transcription:

Hi, this is Charles Antis, CEO and founder of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing in Irvine, California. This month's question on Roofer's Coffee Shop is how do you create a culture of diversity and inclusion in your company?

This is an amazing topic that I have come full circle on because there was a day, I remember, in my young roofing company 29 years ago when I wanted everything to look like me and sound like me and diversity and inclusion did not feel intuitively like it could help this company. In fact, even 15 years ago, diversity and inclusion was not working in my company so I fought it. But I was wrong. I was in a faulty mindset.

So I want to first tell you something that I have some expert opinion on because we employ a lot of diversity at Antis Roofing. I want to tell you that you will embrace diversity and inclusion in your company or you won't be in business in 10 years and maybe a lot sooner. Diversity and inclusion is a recipe for finding out where the hearts and minds of your people are because when you create a diverse environment, people communicate and learn things that were otherwise counterintuitive to you.

I'm going to give you a stat that's directionally correct. I remember reading in Harvard Business Review 15 years ago that if you could hire a more inclusive staff. If you have a Caucasian staff, you could bring in more Asian staff, more African American staff. If you could bring in more women into a predominate roofing male role. If you could bring gay or different lifestyle people into your business. These moves will increase productively by as much as 30%.

That didn't seem possible to me. But I can tell you after years of practice of diversity that we are finding way improved productivity. We also have a 93% retention rate in an industry that has half that, attrition rate is over 50% in the average roofing company.

So I would like to talk about a couple of things One of the ways that we've achieved it is by philanthropy. Through all of our employees, we involve employees in a number of gives that attracts all sorts of different causes in peoples hearts. As we share our causes, we grow.

We also work really hard, you can see some of my self messaging here. "All messaging is all inclusive". That means in everything that we do and everything that we say to all of our groups of stakeholders, not just our employees, not just our supply change, not just our customers. All of our messaging, we only use inclusive messaging. By that I mean we don't use negative words in any of our campaigns intentionally. We work really hard to say everything in a positive, all inclusive way.

We also work really hard to not ever let any person, regardless of faith, regardless of religion, already said that. Skin color, sexual preference. We work really hard to make sure that the language we use will never compromise, make anyone feel left out of the conversation. By doing this, we've changed everything. We will be business but because we do this, we have great relationships with our community, we have great relationship. And by the way, by being all inclusive, nobody's mad at us for being that way. Our people ae satisfied. When I look around my office, I see people that are engaged, that are changing the world. I see messaging on walls all the way around where they write what they're doing to change the world. We do this because we're diverse.

I love what's happening in the roofing industry. There's national women in roofing. We're changing the world, over a thousand strong. We are embracing diversity. I'll tell you one last thing. If I have two people that are equally qualified for a job and one is like everybody else and one is different in any way, be it female in a mostly male job. Gay in a mostly straight job. Be a different skin color, different language or different religion preference, that is who I will choose for the job because the diverse filling of that roll will up the company, up the culture and up our game. Thank you.

 



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